Police seeing increase of crashes from Grand Blanc Township road project

Police chief says too much traffic is going using Reid Road as a detour, leading to crashes
Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 6:12 PM EDT
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GRAND BLANC TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJRT) - The Grand Blanc Township Police Department is frustrated with the amount of drivers not paying attention to posted construction signs.

Police in the city of Fenton had drivers ignoring road closure signs and driving right through a construction zone on Silver Lake Road. A similar problem is happening along Grand Blanc Road, which police blame for an increase of crashes up the road.

Contractors for the Genesee County Road Commission are widening Grand Blanc Road from Dort Highway to the Grand Blanc city limit while installing a new roundabout at Embury Road. The project is starting to cause major issues nearby at Reid Road and Dort Highway.

“We certainly understand the delays caused by it -- the frustration caused by it,” said Grand Blanc Township Police Chief Ron Wiles.

But frustrating or not, those detour signs are there for a reason.

“Ideally, people would follow the detour signs and Reid Road is not part of that detour,” Wiles said. “They’re trying to find a shortcut.”

The detour signs are rerouting drivers south toward the new roundabouts on Dort Highway leading to Cook Road. Instead, drivers are turning left and hoping to snake through using Reid Road.

Wiles said police have seen a big jump in crashes within just the few weeks the construction starting township.

“Crashes are primarily because they’re coming from a dead stop on Reid Road and trying to cut across or onto Dort Highway, which is a 55 mph road, and they don’t see some of those vehicles,” he said. “When you get hit broadside or head on at 55 mph, the chance of a serious injury or even fatality are very high.”

That section of road isn’t set up to handle that much traffic, so police are looking for solutions.

“We’ve been talking with the Genesee County Road Commission, trying to find a best way to alleviate that,” Wiles said. “We’ve talked about a temporary light there. Is that the best option? Increased signage and awareness -- of course, the enforcement component are all options.”

Wiles said drivers can expect to see increased police patrols in the area.

The construction on Grand Blanc Road isn’t scheduled to end until October. Until then, police hope people will start using that posted detour.

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